How to Dispose of Nail Polish and Acrylic

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How to Dispose of Nail Polish and Acrylic

It’s not a secret that people are constantly disposing of hazardous wastes incorrectly. Technically, everything from hair dyes to cooking oils to smoke detectors should not be just tossed down the drain or in the trash. However, nail polish, removers, and acrylic products are especially flammable and destructive to the environment. As a responsible salon (and member of planet Earth!), protect water supplies, wildlife, and the planet by taking the extra moment to dispose of your leftover supplies the right way.

The worst thing you can do is pour lacquers or acrylic monomer down the drain. And you won’t want to toss the full bottles straight into the trash, either. If you have a small amount of polish, pour it into newspaper and let it dry completely. Remove the lid on the bottle so that the leftover bits inside the bottle can dry. When all is dry, toss the bottle, lid, and paper into the regular trash for pick-up. If you have small amounts of acrylic monomer, combine with acrylic polymer, roll into a small ball, and then throw away.

Though both of these techniques are more convenient, the best way to go is always proper hazardous waste disposal. Occasionally, local schools or organizations will host a Household Hazardous/Electronic Waste (HHW/E-Waste) Collection Event, allowing you to freely bring in hazardous chemicals for proper disposal at no charge. Your county may have a calendar of upcoming events near you on their website. You can also call the county offices find out.

Earth911 allows you to find a location nearby to properly dispose of your salon’s hazardous waste. Type “nail polish” into the first box, and your zip code into the second. We were pretty surprised to find several options within just a few miles of our offices! Some locations are dropoff only, pickup only, or residential only, so be sure to click through to find out the details before showing up. The site indicates with red and blue dots which type of location it is. You can search for a place near you here.

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